Comic Con: Liveblogging The Warner Bros. Panel

By Katey Rich 2009-07-24 11:26:24discussion comments
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We'll see if the wifi will cooperate, but hopefully we'll be bringing you as live-as-possible summary of what happens in this morning's Warner Bros. presentation at Hall H. There are a lot of movies on the docket, and hopefully some surprises in store. Let's go!

10:25. Barely made it in, but it's true, Hall H is kind of like the Room of Requirement in Harry Potter-- it just expands as far as you need it. And with no Twilighters on hand today it already sounds a lot quieter.

10:29 Where the Wild Things Are is first. We start with a featurette in which Maurice Sendak talks about how good a job Spike Jonze did with his film, and how the people who worked on it remind him of people he knew in the 60s. I think he means that as a good thing. The footage spliced within the interview looks flat gorgeous. Even better stuff than what we saw in the first trailer.

10:30 Max Records, the kid playing Max, takes the stage. His notes are written on his hands! He kind of looks like a young Paul Dano. He also refers to Maurice Sendak as "Maurice." Apparently Maurice told people who don't like the movie to go straight to hell. Damn right!

10:44 They showed a solid 15 minutes of clips from the film, featuring a lot of Arcade Fire music. It's classic beat-driven, super-energetic Arcade Fire. Kind of perfect for a kid's movie actually. (CORRECTION: The Arcade Fire didn't do the music, just the song featured in the trailer. I got this one confused with The Box. Whoops.)

Clip seen in the trailer, Max waking up in the arms of a Wild Thing. It's the one voiced by James Gandolfini. "I can show you your kingdom. It's all yours." List of things in the kingdom that belong to Max, "except for that stick. Except for that rock." They walk through the desert, which is the part of Max's kingdom that's "Not so good." The Wild Thing puppets, the fact that they're actually real, make a huge difference. You can feel the difference even form something like Avatar. Hard to imagine getting a performance out of a kid without something real there to react with.

In the next scene, Max is wrestling with a big bunch of the Wild Things. They're clearly showing off how well the puppet suits are working, and it's paying off. Max is surrounded in a pile of Wild Things, and he's crawling around like he's inside a fort. He's talking to a female Wild Thing, and it's a voice I recognize, but I can't figure it out. Max opens up about his family, admits that he bit one of them. "I don't like frozen corn." Man, it's tough to be a kid. "it will be good to have someone around who doesn't eat everybody." They all tell each other goodnight, like the Waltons. They all fall asleep in a big pile. Unfortunately it only reminds me of how badly I need a nap.

Next scene! They're building a fort, and there's more awesome Arcade Fire music to back it up. Building this fort sure looks like fun, but I have no idea how this fits in as part of the story.

And it looks like we're closing with a montage. Or maybe this is the trailer? It s set to Arcade Fire's "Wake Up," like the trailer, but I think there's new footage in here. All of it, again, looks gorgeous-- there's a lot of running in it.

10:52 Next up is The Book of Eli. The Hughes brothers are on hand to introduce the trailer, which looks, eh, fine. Kind of typical post-apocalytpic stuff. Now Mila Kunis, Gary Oldman and Denzel Washington are taking the stage. This is what I love about Comic Con-- Gary Oldman got a bigger cheer than Mila Kunis. You can't mess with Commisioner Gordon.

10:54 They actually started the Book of Eli presentation with a motion comic, which introduces the character of Billy, who burns down his house with his drunk father and religious zealot mom inside it. It looked fine, but no one really knew what to make of it. I guess it was too much comics for Comic Con.

10:56 Taking a look at Twitter, everyone apparently was fighting back tears during the Wild Things footage. Not sure I felt that connected, mostly because I'm worried about there being a story to hold up all those beautiful visuals. But it looks stupendously gorgeous, and has that strange evocative feeling of childhood, like it was filmed in your own secret fort. I really hope Spike Jonze can pull this one off.

10:57 "Eli has something I want. And it's a book." --Gary Oldman on his villainous character in Book of Eli. Terse but effective! Who doesn't love this guy?

10:59 I think Denzel just called some guy in the audience "My nigga." Thousands of white people in the hall cracked up. Uncomfortable?

11:00 A set of twins wearing matching Darth Vader shirts ask Mila Kunis what it was like working with twins. Things getting even more uncomfortable in here.

11:00 The crowd is starting to recognize people who step up to the mic every single time. The same guy who professed his love for Tim Burton yesterday and talked about his parents' graves is a bit more restrained today, at least. He asks Denzel what it was like working on the set, and he says "it was like good sex." How are he and Gary Oldman having this much fun before noon?

11:02 "Naked, I look like a boiled chicken." -- Gary Oldman. Huh? Man, you space out for 10 seconds in this place and you have no idea what's happening.

11:04 Kid gets to the mic and asks a question of "Mr. Denzel." I like it when kids get to ask questions, even if it's for a movie that seems hugely inappropriate for children. It was weird seeing the Eli footage after Wild Things actually. Everyone had kind of been transported to this dreamy fantasyland, and then we're back in a movie full of explosions and guys with guns.

11:06 Oldman says they're shooting the next Batman next year! This is news!

11:12 After the Nightmare on Elm Street trailer-- looking good!-- Jackie Earle Haley takes the stage. Gives the fans credit for suggesting him for the Freddy Krueger role. "What a chance to play one of the most iconic characters in the world, Freddy Krueger, after playing Rorschach!" Haley is maybe the only guy who can follow up the double charm whammy of Oldman and Washington.

11:14 "If Freddy Krueger's victims looked up and said 'Save us,' what would he say?" Great question, and Haley gives the right answer: a deeply growled Rorschach "NO."

11:18 Breaking news: Nightmare on Elm Street will have less weed in it that the new Friday the 13th. Disappointing.

11:22 Robert Englund won't have a cameo in the new movie. Also pretty disappointing.

11:23 Richard Kelly in the house with The Box! Muted reception-- I guess everyone still remembers Southland Tales, huh?

11:29 Four minutes from The Box. I didn't realize it was set in the 70s, or in the South for that matter. There were some good things about the footage-- it looks a lot more supernatural than I had realized-- but Cameron Diaz's bad Southern accent might be a dealbreaker for me.

11:33 The Box is set in the 70s because of Facebook and Twitter-- Kelly didn't want the characters to be able to Google the guy who would be murdered by them pressing the button.

11:35 Between the Wild Things trailer and this, it's a big Arcade Fire day. Their music for The Box sounds very 50s sci-fi, to the point that the scene was overscored, but maybe in an intentional way.

11:35 Cameron Diaz just proposed to someone. James Marsden? Again, you zone out for one second...

11:39 Apparently Cameron Diaz mentioned a giant spoiler for the film. I'll leave it out of here, but that comment I made about the movie being more supernatural than I thought? I guess I wasn't supposed to figure that out.

11:42 Guy dressed as a 70s lounge lizard asks Cameron Diaz a question with what looks like a piece of gum hanging off his earlobe-- a There's Something About Mary shout-out. It might be more effective if the gum weren't green.

11:43 "I'm just grateful to still be working," Kelly says when a kid brings up the financial disaster that was Southland Tales. Nice, humble answer.

11:46 "Brenna, I present to you the button unit." That's the best double entendre I've heard since the New Moon panel. The girl had a The Box poster taped under her chair, and she won a replica of the box form the movie. Not bad!

11:52 Jonah Hex trailer features no less than two shots of Josh Brolin and Megan Fox having sex. Now Michael Fassbender, Megan Fox and Josh Brolin are taking the stage. Poor Michael Fassbender-- the real film geeks in here know who you are!

11:55 "Fuckin' A, right?" Josh Brolin asks the audience. Megan Fox drops an F-bomb too. This is the most badass panel of Comic Con so far.

11:56 Brolin says Jonah Hex is like Bram from The Goonies, but later. I love this man.

11:57 Michael Fassbender says he should have actually killed Megan Fox. I think he just lost the fanboy vote.

12:03 A guy gets halfway through asking Megan Fox a question about sex tapes before getting kicked out. What is with geeks and Megan Fox? If I were her, I'm not sure I would be brave enough to go up there.

12:05 "If you want to smack me or beat my ass, do it." Straight from Megan Fox's mouth, I promise. It's in the context of a fight scene with Michael Fassbender, but still. Look for that as a top google term.

12:08 After the 10th fanboy stands up and compliments Megan Fox's beauty, Michael Fassbender sitting next to her just giggle. I love this guy.

12:12 RDJ takes the stage to introduce Sherlock Holmes unannounced, and the crowd goes nuts. "I love you guys!" And we love you too.

12:20 A few extra minutes of Sherlock Holmes footage screened. I can't decide what looks more endearing: the bromance between Holmes and Watson, or Rachel McAdams' character running around in Holmes' clothes. Still has a lot of that Pirates vibe, right down the music. I think that's a good thing.

12:21 Taking a liveblogging break for a minute to conserve laptop battery.



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